Germany has a new F1 champion but race in doubt
By Alan Baldwin
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Germany has a new Formula One world champion in Nico Rosberg, after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, but fans may not see him race on home soil next season.
The German Grand Prix, absent in 2015, is set to be struck off again in 2017 for financial reasons and Rosberg's dominant Mercedes team say there is little they can do about it.
"We are hearing various rumors," motorsport head Toto Wolff said at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Rosberg clinched the title.
"Having a German Grand Prix is part of the history, and especially for us as Mercedes with our factories nearby and many fans in Germany. It is important to race in Germany."
Wolff said Mercedes had offered financial and marketing support in the past but it was not taken up. There had been no such talks this time.
Hockenheim boss Georg Seiler told German media last week that the economic risks of his circuit hosting the event in successive years were too great. Only 57,000 fans attended on race Sunday this year.
Next July would have been the Nuerburgring's turn under an alternation agreement that collapsed when that circuit changed owners.
Germany was listed on a provisional 21-race 2017 schedule with an asterisk but Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has indicated it will be dropped. Continued...